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How to start my own franchise: Mistakes to Avoid When Opening a Franchise

How to start my own franchise: Mistakes to Avoid When Opening a Franchise

Learn how to maximize your probability of success when opening a franchise business.

With any business venture, there are inherent risks involved that can vary based on the industry, investment, competition and a plethora of other factors. As someone with an entrepreneurial spirit, risk is unavoidable – but you can maximize your probability of success when opening a franchise business by familiarizing yourself with (and avoiding) some common mistakes.

What are the potential pitfalls of starting my own franchise?

Assuming a franchise is a sure bet

A common misconception in franchising is that the business will succeed because of the brand’s name or reputation, without having to put in a lot of extra work. When starting a franchise, you can’t assume you’ll be able to just sit back and watch the profits roll in. In many ways, a franchise business is just like any other startup business. Be prepared to spend time and effort getting your franchise established and maintaining a high level of dedication to keep the business running smoothly once your doors are open.

Investing in a franchise model doesn’t automatically make you a business expert – you must still learn aspects of accounting, finance, marketing, customer service, human resources and basic day-to-day operations. You must hold yourself personally responsible for the business’s growth and success.

Opening a business requires hard work and determination. Finding a franchise partner that can help lessen the initial workload can make all the difference. You want to make sure there is a robust training program in place to help you understand all of the different parts of the business. For example, The UPS Store offers a comprehensive training program to get franchisees started.

Failing to thoroughly research your investment

It’s crucial to fully research your franchise options before making an investment. Look at different industries, markets and the competitive landscape. Gather information from a variety of sources to help you make your decision. You want to be confident that the venture is right for you. As an entrepreneur, you should select a business that aligns with your interests and skillset. You want to identify a location that has a large pool of potential customers nearby. Determine how long it will take you to see a return on investment and whether that plan aligns with your long term goals.

It can also be beneficial to speak with other franchise owners to get a firsthand account of what owning a franchise is like. Talk to franchisees from different brands that fit into a particular category or industry that you’re interested in. Find out what they’ve learned and what they might do differently if given the chance.

Reputation is a factor to consider as well. Does the franchise have a well-known brand name? What are they known for? Are there significant positive or negative reviews available? How long have they been in business? What stage of business is the brand in? Are they still experiencing growth?

Choosing the wrong franchise system

With so many franchising options available today, choosing the right one can be quite difficult. It can be tempting to select a new brand with seemingly untapped potential, but you would forego the tried-and-true principles and equity of an established infrastructure.

How quickly has the franchise grown? How saturated are the franchise locations within a given area? When choosing a franchise, it’s important to consider their track record of performance, reputation and opportunity for training and development.

Many franchise systems, like The UPS Store, provide ongoing support and training to help franchisees grow their business. Make sure to factor in these added benefits when deciding on a franchise brand.

Not utilizing the system

While many prospective franchise owners bring a wealth of business acumen and experience to the table, when it comes to actually running a franchise business, it’s best to rely on the established practices set out for you. Trying to tackle everything on your own not only takes a personal toll but it can also be counterproductive to your larger business objectives. Trust the systems and processes that are in place. After all, it’s what you’ve invested in.

A major benefit of a franchise system is having a framework laid out from selecting a site, to securing financing, to managing day-to-day operations – and a support system for when and if you have questions or need support in dealing with an issue. It’s likely that another owner within the system has had a similar experience and can share best practices.

In summary

Although opening a franchise business can certainly be challenging, it can also be very rewarding to be your own boss. If you’re ready to take the next step toward becoming a franchise owner, make sure to avoid these common mistakes and increase your odds of success.

2023 Entrepreneur's Franchise 500 Top Rated for Veterans badge

We Proudly Support Our Veterans

Participating partners with the VetFran program, The UPS Store offers qualifying veterans $15,000 off their franchise fee to start their new business. To learn more, contact The UPS Store Franchise Development Team.

Entrepreneur's Franchise 500 Ranked #4 in 2023 badge

Ranked for over 30 Consecutive Years

The UPS Store has been ranked #1 in the postal and business services category for over 30 years and remains in the top 5 overall for the seventh consecutive year according to the Franchise 500 list.

Kristin Howard

Franchisee, Michigan

The reason my husband and I decided to go into franchising and specifically with The UPS Store, is the different opportunities we're given with the business. The UPS Store has name recognition as well as opportunities to expand.

Debbie Adams

Franchisee, Kentucky

What I enjoy most about being a The UPS Store owner is working with my customers. We are the solution specialists for our customers.

Jim George

Franchisee, Illinios

My favorite part about The UPS Store network is the camaraderie with other franchisees. Everybody loves to help everybody else. You’re really part of a family.

Greg Murray

Franchisee, Florida

The interesting thing about The UPS Store is that when a customer walks through the door there's an extremely high probability that they're coming there to do something that is important to them. So at the end of the day, what we do for customers is very important and they are trusting that we are going to do it well.

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Mariana Huberman

Franchisee, Washington, D.C.

One of the things that I love about The UPS Store franchise system is that you're not ever in this by yourself. The franchisees of The UPS Store network are great.

Heidi Morris

Franchisee, Colorado

The thing I enjoy most about being a The UPS Store franchisee is I get to get up, go to work and know that I'm helping other business owners succeed in what they're doing.

Bob Brown

Franchisee, Tennessee

Owning a The UPS Store franchise has changed my life because it's finally given me the opportunity to engage my customers and my staff and be able to take real pride in what I do. As a franchisee, we get faced with solving peoples' problems every day and we do everything we possibly can to try to help.

Marie Jensen

Franchisee, Oregon

My favorite thing about The UPS Store is the variety. I love the variety of customers, I love the variety of services; getting to know the customers, meeting their needs, finding out how we can help them accomplish what they need to accomplish and seeing how happy they are. That makes me ecstatic.

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Tad Mollnhauer

Franchisee, Florida

With the products and services that The UPS Store provides we can make a difference in people's lives and that is the best reason for being a The UPS Store owner.

Joy Batchelor

Franchisee, Idaho

What makes being a The UPS Store franchisee worthwhile at the end of the day is the customers. The customers treat us like we're family.

Paul Erchinger

Franchisee, Texas

One nice benefit of owning a The UPS Store franchise for me has been that it gives me the opportunity to be more involved in the community. As I make relationships with others it seems like no matter what the environment is, in one way or another business comes out of that and that's not my objective—it's been a secondary benefit to being involved in the community.

Chris Reminder

Franchisee, Ohio

There are several things that I really enjoy about being a The UPS Store franchisee. First and foremost it allows me to get to know the people in the local community and that is a lot of fun. We get to see people on a regular basis. We get to know their life stories. That's a lot of fun.

Bruce Jones

Franchisee, Kentucky

Since we have joined The UPS Store, our life has changed by just having more time to spend together as a family. We've been very fortunate with the stores that we have and we have a great staff that looks out for our best interest and we look out for theirs.

Lonnie Williams

Franchisee, Oklahoma

What makes The UPS Store so successful is it gives each individual an opportunity to grow with the network and just meet the challenges that are brought to them on a daily basis. Every day gives us a new opportunity to help another person, to help another small business, to answer a question and to solve a problem.

Jeff Graham

Franchisee, Alabama

I love my customers. I love my employees. I love every person, every face that comes into my store. I enjoy every day going into work and I can't see doing anything else for the rest of my life.

Stacie Stigar

Franchisee, Alaska

I think that this franchise is so successful because of all of the resources that are available to us as center owners—we have marketing materials, we have so many different opportunities for help from the home office, and it just really makes for a great franchise.

Don Pollard

Franchisee, New Jersey

I think the thing that makes this franchise successful is a number of things. First of all we have an outstanding system, we have a great product, a great brand, and we're able to attract dynamic people to run these centers and run the business. So I think when you put all that together it really provides for a winning combination.

Mary Ellen Nichols

Franchisee, Tennessee

The thing I love about the franchise is that you have the UPS name backing you but yet you also have the autonomy to make your own decisions to promote.

Laura Griffin

Franchisee, Florida

In the eight short months I've owned my The UPS Store it has really changed my life. I've gone from being an employee of someone else to being an employer of my associates. It's a big responsibility but it's exciting every day.

Sandy Scandrett

Franchisee, Wisconsin

Being a The UPS Store franchisee has improved every aspect of my life. It's very rewarding financially, professionally, and emotionally. I have a large number of regular customers who are really, really appreciative of everything we do.

Kristie Robison

Franchisee, Alabama

I would say owning a The UPS Store location has changed my life to where I have more time and flexibility. In owning your own business you get your store up and running and you get employees that you can trust that are going to help keep your store running. This allows me to attend my two boys' ball games and also travel and do things with them so it has really changed my life for the better.